Readings

First Reading:                   Genesis 2:18-24

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6 (cf. 5)

Second Reading:              Hebrews 2:9-11

Alleluia:                             1 John 4:12

Gospel:                             Mark 10:2-16

 

Commentary

Human rights begin at the point in Genesis 2:20, where God declares Eve a partner of Adam.  Eve has a right to be treated as a partner.  Pope Benedict uses this partnership to found human rights in human solidarity, one with another.

Human rights come from the nature of society.  With Adam and Eve, the society is the human family.  There are other societies with other rights, which theologians rightly explore.

Moral theologians have trouble joining human rights theology with virtue theology.  In virtue theology, rights have little or no place.  In human rights theology, individual virtue has little or no place.  The two belong together.

Virtue requires that the just be open to recognizing rights in others, different from themselves.  That openness requires further development into feeling empathy with those in need.  Finally, that empathy requires prudence to right past wrongs, lest in making corrections, the fabric of society be destroyed.

This brings us to Raymond Arroyo of EWTN television.  On Friday, July 31, Arroyo was picking a fight with the Catholic Health Association for not agreeing with him.  Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director for the pro-life Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had to point out that the USCCB had no disagreement with the ad the Catholic Health Association put out in favor of increasing health care.  Arroyo summarily and rudely cut off a physician-caller who had praise for the current system of health care.  Arroyo cut him off because, Arroyo said, of lack of time.  Then Arroyo proceeded to ramble on and on himself.  It looked as if Arroyo could not stand to have anything positive said about the current policies of President Barack Obama.[1]

Arroyo seems to have no place for the rights of women on his program.  His emphasis is on virtue, the rights of conscience of those who do not want to participate in the health policies of Obama.  He excludes human rights of mothers, in favor of human rights for her fertilized eggs.  Arroyo seems unfamiliar with the need to link his theology of virtue with the theology of human rights.

Prudence is the virtue guiding the effort to recognize human rights in those different from oneself; in empathizing with those rights, and in correcting past wrongs, for example reparations for slavery.  I used to ask in the seminary if we were obliged  to give Toledo back to the Indians.  The best answer for not to was because of value added by those who stole the land in the first place.  I like the argument that one should not destroy the structure on which reparations are possible.  I also like the prudential sense of the need to make changes incrementally, in order not to destroy society.

This approach to human rights seems far-fetched from Raymond Arroyo.  Arroyo has a difficult enough time getting past civility, which is required in order to get to human rights.  July 31 he cut off a guest caller in mid-sentence, publicly humiliating him, and embarrassing me.  Arroyo has to get past civility in order to reach anything like human rights.  It can be done.  Others do it.  Other hosts cut off callers, when they stop for breath, rather than in the middle of a sentence.  That however, is basic civility.  We are praying for far more.  Human rights.

 

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Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line. Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here. If they do, however, they may miss some interesting material.

 

Genesis 2:18-24

Genesis 2:18-24

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[2]

The Bishops use these verses in Chapter 21, “The Sacrament of Marriage,” under the heading “God is the Author of Marriage.”  They also use these verses in Chapter 29, “Fifth Commandment: Promote the Culture of Life,” in the section on “Meditation.”  There the Bishops write of “… the original vocation to love which belongs to everyone (cf. Gn 1:27; 2:18-24).”

 

Genesis 2:24

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, 2nd ed., Erroll F. Rhodes, tr.[3]

There is a Protoboharic Coptic dialect version of the New Testament, Rudolf Kasser, ed., Papyrus Bodmer III: Evangile de Jean et Genèse I—IV, 2 en bohairique, published in 1958 in London.

 


Gen 2:4-25

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[4]

Lawrence puts creation within a cosmic context.  Lawrence illustrates one of his pictures with, “One of the nearest nebulae to Earth, the coil shaped Helix Nebula, as viewed through the NASA Hubble Space Telescope.  NASA has nicknamed it `the eye of God.’”

 

Gen 2:18-20

M. Cathleen Kaveny, “Imagination, Virtue, and Human Rights: Lessons from Australian and U.S. Law”[5]

Kaveny develops the arguments used above the double line, including the reference to Pope Benedict XVI.

 

Gen 2:19

Bernardin Schneider, O.F.M., "The Corporate Meaning and Background of 1 Cor 15,45b—`O Eschatos Adam eis Pneuma Zoiopoioun"[6]

Schneider writes, “It is the breath of God put into the earth from which they are formed (cf. Gn. 2:19).”  The Sinaiticus only has Chapter 21:6—24:20.

 

Gen 2:21

William L. Holladay, "Indications of Segmented Sleep in the Bible"[7]

Holliday argues that the sleep of Adam is a first sleep by someone not used to sleeping the whole night through.  Often this sleep is treated as something supernatural.  Holladay does not think so.

 


Gen 2:24c

Duane F. Watson, review of John Paul Heil, The Rhetorical Role of Scripture in 1 Corinthians[8]

Heil argues that Paul follows the rhetoric of his time.  Watson retorts, “Studies of rhetorical argumentation in the NT that acknowledge the role of Greco-Roman argumentation in the NT, however, cast doubt that chiasms appear as nearly as frequently in NT texts as many [Watson includes Heil] have assumed.”

 

Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6 (cf. 5)

Codex Sinaiticus[9]

The continuing point of the exercise reaching into the original manuscripts is to accept some doubt. From doubt results the search for truth as part of Christian life. The Church chose Sacred Scripture from many competing original manuscripts. Development of the words of Sacred Scripture is an historical reality. These Notes try to include this reality as an act of humility against the self-righteous pride required to lead a Christian life.  Let us wait for two more weeks without change before relegating this paragraph to the Appendix.  

In the first verse, everyone who fears the LORD, is in both the Sinaiticus and the Lectionary.

 

Hebrews 2:9-11

The Sinaiticus,[10] agreeing with the eclectic Greek, seems to have “crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death.”  The Lectionary omits that phrase.

 


Hebrews 1:1

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, 2nd ed., Erroll F. Rhodes, tr.[11]

The Pierpont Morgan Library in New York has a Third Century papyrus manuscript with this verse.  The Universitatsbibliothek in Hamburg has a Tenth Century Parchment manuscript with Heb 1:1—4:3.

 

Hebrews 2:9

Catherine Brown Tkacz, "Esther, Jesus, and Psalm 22"[12]

Hebrews weaves the disorderliness of death into the new orderliness of the after life.  Tkacz writes,

 

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews describes Jesus as having been “crowned with glory and honor” because he suffered death, he who `for a little while’ was made `lower than the angels,’ that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone’ (2:9) and explains that he was made “perfect through suffering” (2:20).

 

Hebrews 2:11

Todd D. Still, "Christos as Pistos: The Faith(fulness) of Jesus in the Epistle to the Hebrews"[13]

Jesus expects the Faithful to follow him in holding tight to their bond with the Father.

 

1 John 4:12

The eclectic Greek is difficult at and God remains in us.  The Sinaiticus agrees with the eclectic Greek, except for changing the order of some of the words.  The Sinaiticus seems to place greater emphasis on in us.[14]

 


Mark 10:2-16

The Order of Christian Funerals at 7 Vigil for a Deceased Child and at 14 Funerals and for Baptized Children uses verses 13-16.[15]  The Church also uses Mark 10:2-16 for pastoral care of the sick.[16]

 

The eclectic Greek is difficult at Mark 10:7, and be joined to his wife.  That phrase is missing from some of the better manuscripts.  The Sinaiticus only says they shall become one, without saying anything about leaving mother and father.[17]

 

Mark 10:1-12

Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., “Title VII Marriage (cc. 1055-1165)” in  The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, Commissioned by The Canon Law Society of America, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Donald E. Heintschel (eds.)[18]

Doyle asserts that the synoptic gospels “contain references to marriage in terms of its permanence (Lk 16:18; Mk 10:1-12 [used here]; Mt 5:31-32 and 19:3-12).”  This is the only place the Sunday Lectionary uses any of these verses.

 


Mark 10:1-12

Marie Anne Mayeski, “`Like a Boat is Marriage’: Aelred on Marriage as a Christian Way of Life”[19]

The Church went a thousand years before sacramentalizing marriage.  Marriage is a very secular act.  Mayeski observes that during those thousand years, “… the indissolubility of marriage (understood to be applicable to all marriages, not just that of Christians) rested most firmly on Christ’s logion in Mark 10:1-12.”  The so-called Pauline privilege is another matter.  Logion means a usually short pointed pregnant saying or observation especially of a religious teacher.[20]

 

Mark 10:4-52

Michael Patella, O.S.B., review of Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll, The Psalms of Lament Mark’s Passion: Jesus’ Davidic Suffering[21]

Patella asserts that “conclusions appear forced.”

 

Mark 10:2-9

C. Clifton Black, “Mark as Historian of God’s Kingdom”[22]

Black argues that Mark presents the answers Jesus makes to such questions as that of the Pharisees are “… based on an intuitive penetration of Scripture’s underlying intent.”  Black argues furthermore that “Nowhere in Mark does Jesus act as an autonomous agent: `Doing the will of God’ is the only consequential criterion, for Jesus or for others (3:3; 14:36) …”

 

Mark 10:2

Victor Paul Furnish, review of Paul Barnett, Paul: Missionary of Jesus[23]

Barnett lacks enough respect for history to be very credible.

 


Mark 10:13-16

Alicia Batten, review of Jean Delorme, Parole et récit évangéliques: Études sur l’évangile de Marc[24]

Delorme makes the point that questioning is a legitimate function of the spiritual life.  Batten explains, “The story is not about providing particular directions or examples to follow.  Rather, Jesus’ message may be understood as: `Let the child in you come to me, for the kingdom of God belongs to her/him.’”

 

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes

 



[1] Raymond Arroyo, the original and Encore Presentations on ETWN, “The World Over,” Friday and Saturday, July 31 and August 1, 2009.  I do not own the technology required to record this program, and accept the risk associated therewith.

 

[2] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006, 279, 401-402.

 

[3] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 204.

 

[4] Downers Grove, Illinois, InterVarsity Press, 2006, 14, 155.

 

[5] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 1 (March 2009) 130.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3 (July 2009) 461 as found at http://63.136.1.22/pls/eli/ashow?ishid=n0008-7912_029_03&lcookie=2792486&npage=450-467  (accessed January 15, 2007).

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 220.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 358.

 

[9] http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/print.aspx?manuscript=true&imageType=standard&translation=true&transcription=true&transcriptionType=verse&phd=true&lg=en&quireNo=63&folioNo=4&side=v  (accessed August 4, 2009).  Psalm 128 in the Lectionary is Psalm 127 in the Sinaiticus.

 

[10] http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/print.aspx?manuscript=true&imageType=standard&translation=true&transcription=true&transcriptionType=verse&phd=true&lg=en&quireNo=85&folioNo=5&side=r  (accessed August 4 2009).

 

[11] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 97, 122.

 

[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October 2008) 717.

 

[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October  2007) 747, 748, 750, 755.

 

[14] http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/print.aspx?manuscript=true&imageType=standard&translation=true&transcription=true&transcriptionType=verse&phd=true&lg=en&quireNo=89&folioNo=7&side=v    (accessed August 4, 2009).

 

[15] N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 143-144, 257-258.

 

[16] The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for use in the dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 52.

 

[17] http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/print.aspx?manuscript=true&imageType=standard&translation=true&transcription=true&transcriptionType=verse&phd=true&lg=en&quireNo=76&folioNo=8&side=v  (accessed July 26, 2009).

 

[18] New York: Paulist Press, 1985, 737.

 

[19] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 1 (March 2009) 95.

 

[20] Webster’s Third New International Dictionary , Unabridged.  Merriam-Webster, 2002.  http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com  (accessed August 6, 2009).

 

[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (April 2009) 635.

 

[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 78.

 

[23] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 156.

 

[24] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October 2007) 820.